Keel-A-Pie, the Chinuk Wawa operetta (fourth page)

In today’s installment, we have a reference to a World War I song that helps us establish the operetta’s date of composition between 1912 and the 1925 publication of the book we find it in.

[…] For grandmother to rear me.
No escape this side of heaven,
Even should I live to be seventy-seven
I will love no other.
Scold me and whip me, if you will, grandmother.
My soul depressed, feet too heavy for dancing.
Sleep shuns me though morning is ad[v]ancing.
I must get up for daily tasks assigned me.
Stitch and work behind tears that blind me.
For an orphan there’s no mercy —
Just a si-wash [Indian] hussy —

Lem-e-eye comes back and whips Mihmy  off the stage.


Klale: “Well, boys, you’ve seen the girl and she’s on the auction block.”

Pill: “She’s a stunning girl.”

Lokit: “If she’s on the auction block, it will take hi-yu ic-tahs [a lot of (trade) goods] to buy her; the Klallams are a greedy tribe.”

Klone: “If she were on the bargain counter, neither of us could buy her. How many moons would it take to secure enough beaver, otter and bear skins and elk teeth to swap for a Klallam girl?”

Kwass: “It would be a bold thing to kidnap the girl: Lem-e-eye is a regular old witch.”

Klale: “That’s the thing to do: catch the girl and run away with her. It will not be so very bold for us five to do that. And let me tell you something: this girl’s mother was kap-swall-owed [stolen] from the Quill-a-yutes, and she fell in love with the fellow that ran away with her, so her father could not retake her, and the thief was too stingy to give anything for her. Now it is up to us Quill-a-yutes to even the score by kidnaping the daughter.”

Pill: “The whole gang can do it all right, but which one will have the girl?”

Klale: “Easy to dispose of that question in a game: the winner can have the girl.”

Lokit: “I’m keen to sit in the game.”

Pill: “Me, too.”

Klone and Kwass: “And me, and me.”

Klale: “Enough said; the rest of you watch around here while Pill and I run to our camp at Quilcene to fetch ropes and our spears: perhaps we can get away without a fight, but we need our weapons.”

(Curtain down.)


A quiet place in the forest. Moses and Mihmy meet there early in the morning. He is sad and silent, she is sprightly and gay.

Mihmy: “What ails you, Moses? Your face is as long as the long, long road to Tiperarie. Are you sorry for the old duffer my grandmother is going to sell me to? Poor fellow, he’ll wish me in [B]allyhack. I’ll be a hawk. I’ll tear his ears off with my claws. I’ll gouge his eyes out with my beak. Grandmother says he will[…]